I love having a pet! When I was younger, I always said that I would get a small dog. That happened a little over five years ago and I couldn’t be more happier with my dog. Although I’m happy that I’m a dog mom…the job isn’t always easy. Dogs are cute and fun to be around, but it’s so much more to being a pet owner than that. There are a couple of things that I wish I knew before becoming a pet owner. If I knew these things beforehand I may have planned things a little better, but it definitely wouldn’t have made me change my mind. I’m glad my dog is in my life and I hope he’s here to stay for many more years!
Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Pet Parent
Dogs are like Kids
Yes, I call myself a dog mom. Yes, I know that dogs aren’t actually kids, but they are seriously so much alike in so many ways! Teaching my dog how to behave and have manners was a must. I didn’t want to take my dog out in public if he was gonna act a fool. I had to learn early that I would be teaching my dog more than just tricks.
Potty training is required just like a kid except it’s a little more challenging especially if you live on the third floor of an apartment complex! My dogs all stayed outside when I was growing up so I didn’t even really think about how much of a challenge it would be. It takes patience and a lot of practice to potty train a dog just like it does when you potty train a child. I had to make sure everything was put out of my dog’s reach because he was curious as most kids are. I came back home to a few surprises when Simba was a puppy like a room full of ripped up toilet paper.
Attention is a must! If your dog is anything like mine then he ALWAYS wants attention. It can be easy to neglect your dog if you become super busy with work, the new baby, or things around the house. I had to make sure that I didn’t forget about my dog no matter how busy my life got. Dogs need love too! Random getaways? Paaah! You can fuhgetaboutit! I didn’t think about this at all. If my dog can’t come along because a place isn’t pet friendly then he needs a sitter! Sometimes it can be hard to find someone you trust to take care of your dog just like a kid! I can go on and on about how much they are similar like puke and potty accidents, but I’ll stop here.
Brushing a Dog’s Teeth is Important
I had absolutely no idea that a dog’s teeth should be brushed! I didn’t realize this until several months later when I joined some pet communities online. A LOT of people don’t know about brushing a dog’s teeth. I had never seen a dog get his teeth brushed before so it was totally new to me. It was kind of a shocker to be honest. A dog’s teeth should be brushed often just like a human. I actually slacked a little on Simba’s teeth when I became pregnant and I am so mad at myself. His teeth aren’t horrible, but they could be better. It’s really not hard to do at all if your dog doesn’t mind. Make sure to stay on top of your dog’s dental hygiene!
Dog Grooming is a Must!
I really didn’t do my research about how often Schnauzers need to be groomed and how much upkeep having a white dog would be. I basically just went off of my husband’s recommendation about how Schnauzers were a good family dog. Grooming and upkeep on a white dog is a lot of work! If you don’t brush a Schnauzer multiple times a week it is easy for the hair to get matted. Tear stains show up terribly bad on a white dog and can be a pain to get rid of if you don’t clean the eyes DAILY. The beard of a white Schnauzer also has the same issue as well as the paws. The struggle is real to keep my white Mini Schnauzer looking good like I want him to. It’s definitely much more work than I expected it to be and a cost I didn’t think about either.
Dogs Cost Money
Well duh I knew dogs cost money, but did I know exactly how much? Dogs can be expensive. I want my dog to eat a good quality dog food so I’m going to spend more than just a few bucks on a cheap brand. I’m pretty sure my dog eats better than me although I’m trying to be more healthy myself. Buying high quality dog food adds up quickly especially when I didn’t even think of that expense to begin with. After doing some research on different foods I switched Simba’s food a few months after having him and had no idea I’d be spending that amount on dog food. I also spoil my dog from time to time because I want him to have the best. I had no idea I’d be buying various pet supplies as much as I did. Some things he doesn’t NEED per se, but he gets it!
Dogs have to have yearly check ups and vaccines and other healthcare things taken care of. Dogs can have health issues some minor and some huge. All of those things cost money! Whether it’s a wellness plan or pet insurance, you are gonna spend some coins. That was another monthly expense I didn’t really think about when I wanted a dog. I’m super glad that I did sign up for the wellness plan because it is preventative care and Simba hasn’t had any serious issues at all. He gets unlimited doctor’s visits so if he gets sick I can take him to the vet ASAP at no extra cost. He has had to go only a few times and it didn’t cost me any crazy amount of money, but I am paying for a monthly wellness plan. Who knew? Not me at the time.
I’m sure there are plenty of things that people wish they knew before becoming a pet owner. What is something you wish you knew before becoming a pet owner? Share in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.